September 26, 2016 / 9:57 AM / 4 years ago

METALS-Nickel and copper slip while dollar boosts other metals

* Nickel dips after five-day climb on Philippine supply woes

* Copper falls, losses limited by China demand prospects

* Other metals rally (Updates with closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Nickel slipped on Monday as nagging concerns about demand took the shine off Friday’s rally to a six-week high on the possibility of more mine closures in the Philippines.

A dozen mines, which are mostly nickel projects, risk being suspended when the Philippines announces more results on Tuesday of an environmental audit, on top of eight nickel mines closed already since the audit started in July.

Nickel on the London Metals Exchange dropped 1.1 percent to $10,540 a tonne, retreating from the six-week high of $10,715 and its biggest weekly rise since July. Copper also fell but other metals rose thanks to a weaker U.S. dollar.

“Nickel prices have rallied strongly over the past month and that’s why it was more hard hit compared with the other metals,” Danske Bank commodities analyst Jens Pedersen said.

“On one hand you have the relatively weak demand that is weighing on prices but you also have mining sector consolidation that is adding some more fundamental support,” he said.

The Philippines accounts for more than 90 percent of China’s nickel ore imports and signs of supply interruptions typically trigger higher prices for the metal used in steelmaking.

Data on Thursday showed China’s nickel ore imports in August climbed to a 13-month high of 4.3 million tonnes as traders stocked up in anticipation of a supply crunch.

Marex Spectron analyst Dee Perera, however, said the results of the Philippines audit had been pushed back three times and “the general market feel is that the impact of the mining closures is likely to be limited”.

Benchmark copper fell 0.3 percent to $4,841 a tonne, also losing steam after a strong week.

The metal used widely in construction and electronics rose 1.4 percent last week after Chinese economic data indicated a firmer housing market and a revival in factory activity.

Other metals ended higher on the back of a weaker dollar. The U.S currency fell after comments from a top Bank of Japan official reinforced views that the central bank was unable to take steps that would weaken the yen.

A weaker dollar makes metals priced in the currency cheaper for non-U.S. investors.

Aluminium rose 1.5 percent to $1,660 a tonne while tin added 0.4 percent to reach $19,725 tonne.

Zinc climbed 0.6 percent to $2,290 a tonne and lead jumped 1.5 percent to $1,947.50 a tonne.


Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

Editing by Louise Heavens and David Clarke

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